Personal injury attorney David Malnick defied the stereotype associated with his profession: Integrity, generosity, and kindness were hallmark qualities of the Los Altos resident who died unexpectedly New Year's Day while on vacation with his family in Peru. Mr. Malnick was 62.
Born March 26, 1944, in Piedmont, Mr. Malnick was a graduate of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and American University in Washington, D.C.
Though his legal practice spanned more than 30 years, he never wearied of advocating for the trauma victims who sought his assistance.
He became an expert in the area of closed head injury, writing articles and lecturing at law schools including Santa Clara University, Stanford University and Kazakhstan State National University.
He occasionally reduced his own legal fees so that his injured clients could net larger awards.
Past president of the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, Mr. Malnick had served as a judge pro tem, mediator and arbitrator in Santa Clara County since 1980.
Mr. Malnick served a quarter century on the board of directors of the American Technion Society, taking students from Israel's technology institute under his wing and into his home when they came to pursue internship opportunities with Silicon Valley firms. Many became lifelong family friends.
An active member of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, Mr. Malnick was so inspired by Saturday morning Torah study that he set out to learn Hebrew as an adult. His love of learning spanned the secular as well.
He read three newspapers cover-to-cover each morning to develop well-informed views on current affairs.
Happiest when sailing San Francisco Bay on his beloved "Jury Rig," walking his dogs, Max and Molly, and spending time with his family, David told his wife, Carol, and daughter, Meredith, on New Year's Eve that the week they'd just spent in the Galapagos was the best week of his life.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, and daughter, Meredith, of Los Altos; his mother, Edith Malnick, of Piedmont; and brothers, Warren of Walnut Creek and Joel of State College, Pa.
Services were held Sunday at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Congregation Beth Am's Youth Education, Camp and Israel Scholarship Fund or to the American Technion Society, 870 Market St. #800, San Francisco 94102.